Can someone tell me hiow to do or what is a 'burned oil
patina on silver. I saw it in a book and loved it.
Don’t know about silver in particular, but about 20 years ago
Dick Thomas at Cranbrook taught us how to put something very
similar on bronze. Use an annealing torch or other large,
relatively cool (gas/air, not gas/oxygen) flame, soft and
reducing, to warm the metal. Use a spray bottle to apply very
light mists of peanut oil. Apply a bit of oil, heat till it
smokes. Don’t let it dry completely before adding a trace more
oil. The result is a build up of slowly carbonizing peanut oil.
It’s only partially burning, so though it darkens, it retains
enough resins or whatever to form a solid glaze, rather than just
carbon. Done right, it’s a rich dark brown/blackish finish, but
it’s translucent, and with depth, not just opaque black. We were
using it on highly polished bronze or brass holloware. Don’t
recall if anyone tried it on silver, but I see no reason why it
wouldn’t work the same. On bronze, the metal still gleamed,
just a bit, through an otherwise deep antique black/brown colored
glaze. I’d compare the result to much like a deep translucent
lacquor finish such as one might find on antique woodwork. Very
nice. And because it is an actual coating on the metal, it
protects the metal from further oxidation as well.
Note, though, that it often took about a half hour of gentle
heating and periodic spraying to get this effect. Working too
fast will ruin it. This finish takes time to apply. It was
originated (the peanut oil finish) at cranbrook, as an attempt
to duplicate a Japanese finish on such metals achieved over a
smoky oily fire, which combined leaves and other stuff
burning/smouldering to produce an oily smoke, over which the
item would be turned, getting a deposit of oils and soot and the
like. With a bunch of intermediate rubbings and all the rest,
eventually a deep resinous burned on finish would result. The
peanut oil method is easier and faster. But it’s still a bit of
work. It’s a bit analagous to the finish one ends up with on a
properly cared for and well seasoned wok, where one never washes
the wok, only wipes it clean and reoils. Over time, the oil
film burns on leaving a rich dark color. Much the same.
hope this helps.